Materials recovery in the Lone Star State contributed $3.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2015, according to a new report.

Materials diversion in Texas supported 17,000 jobs, the report from the state’s Commission on Environmental Quality says. Those include positions within the industry, jobs supported by commerce generated by the industry and positions supported by industry employees spending their earnings.

The impact was realized from the state recycling 9.2 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) during the year, which equates to a recycling rate of 22.7 percent. The study defined MSW to include construction and demolition debris and organics.

Spurred by legislation passed in 2015, the economic impact report examined a variety of facets of the industry, including current recycling efforts, market development work, funding methods, job creation benefits, and infrastructure needs and opportunities in rural and underserved areas.

In announcing the report, the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) said the study “gives Texas policymakers the information they need to examine the economic, environmental, and policy issues of interest to Texas businesses, citizens and governmental agencies.”

The report will be discussed during a Nov. 15 webinar.

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